14449011_673379056164128_4679448363774001003_nThis week we head into the Christmas party zone, and thankfully it isn’t tinselled up to the max but more takes the form of some choice musical gatherings to celebrate and see the year out with.

At The Victoria, Songs of Praise, has their last big show for a while as they head towards a year of much reduced bookings. Before that happens though they have lined up a great night of old school rock, sleazy grooves and boogie beats to put this year’s activities to bed.

Last Great Dreamers (pictured) were a permanent fixture of the London sleaze rock scene in the nineties and having reformed a couple of years ago, are treading the boards once again. These self confessed pantomime dames of nouveaux glam rock headline the night and are joined by the garage rock ferocity of Molotov Sexbomb and Falls On Deaf Ears, a new band featuring a few familiar faces and a whole raft of street rock tunes.

Rock and roll with an even more vintage feel can be found at The Beehive with The Teddy White Band and their musical stall of beat, bop, boogie and rhythm and blues. A guaranteed party…that’s what that is.

Staying at The Beehive for Friday and you can catch Black Sheep Apprentice delivering a salvo of dark country anthems and visceral Americana tunes that take a Johnny Cash vibe to an even more intense and godless place. Support for this comes in the guise of Tamsin Quin, a wonderfully charismatic performer who combines cheek and charm and delivers some very heartfelt and honest music.

A couple of options present themselves for fans of tribute bands. Firstly a night of all the big tunes from the Brit-Pop era as Oasish and Stereotonics play the Victoria, and if you can’t work out just who they pay tribute to from those punningly priceless names, then it probably isn’t for you. At Level III you will find Wrong Jovi (again you can work this out) and a whole bag of stadium ready, melodic rock. Support for this comes from The Dirty Outlaws, purveyors of some raw and aggressive street punk and Oi terrace anthems which might prove a bit of a shock to the average Bon Jovi fan but a bit of musical cross pollination is never a bad thing. Right?

Classic rock in all its pomp and finery are what Down and Dirty are all about, all the big hits of the rock canon with a few curveballs thrown in… I bet there aren’t many cover bands that have both Genesis and Zappa on their set lists…and you can catch them at The Castle.

Saturday at The Victoria and nothing short of a musical institution makes its annual visit…12 Bands of Christmas. As always a whole host of bands normally out their playing their own music make wonderful fools of themselves and pick the oddest, most inappropriate and surreal tunes to cover and the result is as hilarious as it is brilliant.

Fans of 80’s pop will be interested to note that at Level III you will find Neville 42. This collection of highly regarded session players and multi-instrumentalists came together a couple of years ago to address the lack of a tribute to Level 42 on the circuit and the result is a slick, infectious tribute to one of the biggest bands of that decade.

Sunday ticks a number of different generic boxes for music fans. If punked up folk and celtic jives are your thing then head to The Beehive for Missin’ Rosie. Cool as folk! Those looking for something a bit more extreme should head to Level III for a night of hardcore and dark metal from Back Down, Conspire and Petulance. If something broader in scope and more accessible to the general music consumer is in order then Mid Life Crisis and The Castle is probably for you.

Booking The Black Feathers for the last show of the year is really going out in style for the Lazy Sunday Afternoon’s final show of the year at Savernake Street Hall. Sumptuous harmonies, clever arrangements and deft songwriting all go into a folk meets country mix to amazing affect. Jamie R Hawkins will be bringing a wonderful selection of slick, narrative driven pop-folk acoustica and as always your hosts, Mr Love and Justice, get things started.
And finally, Songs of Praise acoustic session at The Rolleston has it’s end of year show with a bill picked from the best of the years offerings and featuring Oli Norman, Nick Felix, the ubiquitous Tamsin Quin and Jim Blair. If you like your singer-songwriter type acoustic thing, it doesn’t get better than this.